tv Book Discussion on The Letters of Arthur Schlesinger CSPAN January 21, 2014 1:00am-2:03am EST
next on book tv and are in stephen schlesinger present a collection of letters from their father the late pulitzer prize-winning historian schlesinger junior special assistant to president kennedy and his letters include correspondence with the kennedy family lyndon johnson henry kissinger and william f. buckley. this is about an hour. [applause] >> welcome and thank you for that nice welcoming applause. i want to thank you all for joining us for what i know is going to be a very special evening. as many of you know this year
vanderbilt welcomed jon meacham with wide arms and a very warm embrace as a distinguished visiting professor. [applause] and i think john has done well and i hope we can take to visiting off him pretty soon. i would say the political science students are thrilled to have such unique opportunity to learn from this accomplish historical scholar and celebrated author. john's most recent book thomas jefferson, the art of power, rose to the coveted number one spot on "the new york times" bestseller list and was selected as one of the best books of the year by the times book review in the "washington post." his best-selling biography of andrew jackson american lion earned john a pulitzer prize. his executive editor and executive vice president of random house john as you might
expect is involved in the creation of the publication a fascinating books that taught the most interesting and influential reading lists. his passion for learning his expertise and engagement in the literary world also benefit the university greatly by making it possible for us to bring exciting events to nashville like this talk based on the letters of schlesinger junior which was released just a few days ago. i am proud to have jon as my partner and the sears chancellors lecture series. tonight he has invited steven and andrew schlesinger to share with us the labor of law involved in reviewing approximately 35 thousand letters written by their father, the late great arthur schlesinger junior to create this remarkable book. we are also pleased to welcome
tom brokaw back again. [applause] tom was honored as the chancellors metal and he delivered an inspiring talk to our graduating seniors in 2012 and we are thrilled to have them back on campus for this exciting and interesting conversation. without further ado i'm going to turn things over to jon and thank him for arranging this conversation among these truly extraordinary men to share an extensive and personal understanding of the remarkable life and work of arthur schlesinger junior. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, boss. [laughter] i want to say quick lee are three guests and all of you who have taken the trouble to come at this time in this hour to talk about this may represent
the greatest gathering of wisdom insight and talent at vanderbilt with the possible exception of when nicholas zeppos -- [inaudible] [laughter] moving on. see first to call him boss and then you up to him. it's really outrageous. >> 53 items ago in 1960 general election campaign for president jon kennedy said this. if by a liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind some who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people their health or housing their schools and their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties someone who believes we can break through the stalemate of suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what
they mean by a liberal than i am proud to say i am a liberal. as andrew and stephen brought in their introduction to their father's introduction this to us what it meant to arthur to be a liberal. the letters chronicle the late historian skews really from world war ii through the second iraq war. you can read letters from eleanor roosevelt, harry truman, adlai stevenson, hubert humphrey, robert kennedy henry kissinger william f. buckley junior george h.w. bush bill clinton that all core jon kenneth galbraith forgets all -- gore vidal and naturally given arthur's sense of history groucho marx and savvy davis junior and bianca jagger. [laughter] alexander arthur's wife is not
here. to detractors who refused arthur of being being a condescended sizer he wrote if your letter was the product of sincere misunderstanding the facts i have cited should relieve your mind. if not i can only commend you to the nearest psychiatrist. i should note too quickly that arthur had a keen appreciation for two tennessee exports, andrew jackson and jack daniels. as jon sig involve or tom appreciate arthur did not believe that white wine with sufficient given the difficulty seven afternoon. the author of merra toss and with steve and his coeditor of their father's journals 1952 to 2000. abc news documentary division andrew stone has won two emmys and the writers guild award. stevens lessons are at director
for the world policy institute at the new school and publisher of the quarterly world policy journal. he has been a staff writer at the "times" and policy advisor to governor mario cuomo. he's also the author of acts of creation the founding of the united nations which received the harry s. truman book award. and our friends and arthur's friend tom brokaw will pay a key role in the discussion of the schlesinger discussion. he is a little like wayne gretzky. have you been compared to gretzky? >> i can still stand on skates with that as far as i can get carried. >> the gretzky once and as you all know that he always skated to where the puck was going to be as opposed to where it had been. brokaw has done that from generation to generation. the cover of civil rights in atlanta early. he was an early reporter on the reagan story in 1966. he was says anchor and managing
editor of nbc nightly news and the critical figure for reporters. he's the only man in history of nbc to post a trifecta "the today show" nightly news and "meet the press" which in new york media circles that is in fact the holy trinity. [laughter] the divinity school was off on that. he was only the network anchor in berlin for the collapse of the wall. it was unclear whether that was causative. [laughter] is he laughing? as an author he sacrificed -- phrased the greatest generation. he is rounded generous kind and wise. he is a great man. he proves the grace and skill are not incompatible and plays an invaluable role in shaping succeeding generations of journalists and large swaths of american viewers still turn to him in times of crisis.
his just finish work on a landmark documentary in his documentation of president kennedy which is a profound piece of work and we are deeply grateful that he is here. so on to arthur. in 1980, stephen why do you start. in 1980 arthur wrote jon kenneth galbraith describing the nature distinguishing liberal issues his belief in affirmative government as an instrument of general welfare. >> i think this is absolute true and in many ways this book is a mini-history of the liberal movement from 1945 to 2005 and it reflects his commitment to the liberal ideals of affirmative for activist government, the idea of public expenditures, civil rights and diplomacy over war. one of the profound things that i think that brother and i found in going through thousands of these letters is discontinuous
and is almost demanding commitment to this idea that if we are going to change american society for the better we have to be willing to fight for these ideals and as a result you had breaks with his friends. he had real confrontations because he kept this faith irregardless of the time or if the crisis he was facing. so yes, that issue of activist government is i would say summarizes his notion about what liberalism is all about. >> i think i brother covered that pretty well. >> is a no kaine and abel problem. >> one of the things i'm interested in was the
consistency and the tenacity of his point of view. that he could not be moved. >> one of the things we discovered in collecting these letters was his theme of promoting a liberal agenda was obvious and once he -- we put the totality of the letters together it totally defined his life. we were in the bubble. his letters to his friends, every letter he somehow try to influence either a writer to write a book or write a book about that point or presidents and i don't know if he advised harry truman that he did have a relationship with him. >> they did exchange letters. >> they did those he wrote about macarthur and harry truman wrote them a letter in the senate and want to write you before the book came out because
i didn't want a buddy to think that i was influencing your attitude on this controversy. as opposed to present day. >> now talk about the beginning of the liberal sensibility. was it genetic nature? >> yes, if you read the introduction of the book his grandfather, my father's father was a professor of american history at harvard who came from the scene you ohioans was educated at ohio state. he graduated in 1910. he had a couple of sisters who were teachers. my great-grandfather was a german immigrant and there's an interesting speech that my grandfather came at -- gave that ohio in 1946 when he said even that than in 1946 he said we are being overwhelmed by uniformity and the corporations and the banks everything like that. they are trying to squeeze the heart out of you.
i want to say one more thing and that is my father's areas of the site of american history where you have the liberal area followed by conservative theories roughly every 30 years. that was my grandfather's theory and so he picked up a lot of even his historical academic structures from my grandfather. >> our relatives on my mother sat in my father's side were in the midwest so there was a kind of a prairie populism that they brought to the east when we were growing up. it was genetic. >> one thing i think jon that's important especially given the current political climate and in which we are so sliced and diced in so many ways in the post-war years there was a strong conservative current running through the country with mccarthy and so on. aa lot of the young people who came back from that war were
very much in the jet stream with arthur about what liberalism shipping can do this they had in witness obviously in europe and japan about what happens when it goes the other way. so there was an entirely different climate about the place of liberalism. in 15 seconds i will tell you the story was telling steve. after the war our family move to remote part of south dakota where they could never do this today. they built in enormous hydroelectric dam in the middle of nowhere the extraordinary expense paid low wages for everybody and change the lives of everybody that went through there. the first first kids on to college went to work there and they're not coming back as doctors and engineers and other things. that was really the part of the currents running through american those days. i especially want to say something about the importance of historians who could get out and touch and feel their subjects as well. one of the first accounts that
arthur gives in his book is he is working for the office of war information. that is what it was called and he was assigned to the south. he had not been there before. growing up in ohio and went to harvard and help me out guys but reading through this it was completely taken with the idea of dean called -- and if anybody would recall it was a classic harvard professor. he was stunned by what he saw and frankly that was very hopeful to him later on when he was writing about the place of government liberalism and the civil rights movement and how important it was. he got onto it a lot earlier than has friends kennedy who came to the subject much later frankly. that is what comes through with this and the other thing is that i think it's sad for me at least not as a historian but a student that we don't have people keeping journals and writing
letters anymore the way that arthur did. when i was working on the greatest generation and subsequently my continuing inched in that subject we loved the british because everybody wrote it down. >> i think that his idea of liberalism was such that he started right after the second world war sort of promoting the idea of liberal anti-communism and this was a great movement. eleanor roosevelt and jon kenneth galbraith and many liberals who wanted to make clear that liberals did not mean communism and it's a social change that was within the democratic process. that is why my father in 1949 wrote the book which is kind of the landmark book talking about how democracy is the centerpiece for his philosophy between the
extreme of communism on one hand and fascism on the other. i think that philosophy became such a part of his life that if you read the letters he had with various democratic candidates starting with adlai stevenson and jon f. kennedy and people, bill clinton and i can list practically every presidential candidate on the democratic ticket for the 60 years they all turned to him because they realized he was serving as a liberal conscience through that generation of political people and in a way they need to his validation to be able to appeal to the liberal constituency that he wanted to represent. >> but a hardheaded liberal. >> that's right. >> he was so close to stevenson and did not take the transition to kennedy overnight. can you talk about that transition, the shift from
libertyville to hyannis? >> that's very interesting that you use the word hardheaded. he obviously adored stephenson at the same time he felt stevenson was passive on the issue of civil rights and he was very, as tom points out he had broken to that issue in the early 1940s to the south. he tried to urge stevenson to make a commitment to protecting black voting rights in the south and also to the issue of desegregation which had arisen after the 1954 supreme court decision. he couldn't get stevenson to move on it. stephenson will very much a liberal idealist felt politically he couldn't take decisions that would possibly upset his presidential
ambitions. so i think that was, that became a hallmark of the way he related to john kennedy and others. even while he worked with them he felt it incumbent on his role as political advisor to present difficult than hardheaded issues to these guys and see if he could have any impact on them. >> he called president kennedy and i'll let -- i'll -- idealistic without provisions meaning that kennedy wanted the right thing but he knew how hard it was. >> the other thing is frightening because authors know how close he became with the kennedy family. he writes about bobby and he wrote the great book about bobby after his death but he said to the editor of "the new york times" in february of 1954 robert kennedy's letter is such an astonishing mixture of distortion and error that it
deserves comment. in attempting to repeat the "times" with the subsequent soviet violations mr. kennedy suggests the far eastern agreement -- the fact is the soviet union pledged china's show retained full sovereignty in manchuria. not that many years later he writes the most eloquent and persuasive letter to the new york times about why bobby kennedy would be a good senator from the state of new york and why he deserves to run. so he was not inflexible in terms of making judgment about things but for me at least watching that my network and watching him on the american landscape and not just going with the whims but making strong judgment, this was an area he did know well and probably did know a lot more about bobby. >> he in fact that brings up a point which is that he did become, you got to know bobby
very well when he was working the white house for president kennedy and he became very close to him. i used to visit my father when i was in law school and when he was living in new york and i was late getting cambridge and he would often take bobby and myself and others out to dinner. he and bobby would be sitting there talking about existential issues about the issue of, because his brother still suffered so dramatically from the assassination of jack kennedy. he would talk about issues like whether he still believed in god. i remember being privy to these conversations and my father was the kind of person, almost like it counts like to kennedy that he would he willing to be that open with my father and seek his advice. not just on a policy level but also on a personal level. see one of the things we haven't touched on jon is when he was
the white house counsel to the president and the in-house historian. he would also write film reviews. jon was not kidding. i'd law to go to dinner with him if for no other reason than to drop the name of the latest film he would give me chapter and verse the strengths and weaknesses in the structure of it. he was kind of the forest gump and i don't mean that in a bad way of historians. his paths crossed with everybody. he would spend the summers on the cape and then he would be at the hermon home in florida in the wintertime and he moved with ease and grace. the letters would come through that said -- that had been essential politeness even when he is pulling out the stiletto even in a graceful way but you always know where he stands. you always knew and we were talking earlier arthur died as happily as a man could.
he had given his appetites and inclinations, he was at a steakhouse. which is exactly where he would have wanted to exit. the civility question is interesting and the consistency question. in the earlier volume that andrew and stephen edited there is a wonderful line where arthur has had lunch with henry kissinger, never something to be taken lightly and he says i would feel much better about launching with henry if i weren't convinced he was saying quite different things when he had lunches with dull but lee. [laughter] one thing you knew is that arthur was saying the same thing. so talk about that. >> we might say something. one of the i think advantages of this look of relationships was the relationships of common and people over a 50-year period.
he and bill buckley used as vicious debates in front of crowds like this in the 1950s and 60's about the merits of conservatism and liberalism. but over time once my father and move to new york and is enmity turned into an odd sort of friendship e-rate in the 1990s bill buckley wrote a novel about joe mccarthy which was very positive. he said -- sent my father letter saying would you ride alert for my novel? about joe mccarthy. my father wrote a kind letter back saying you haven't really persuaded me about the greatness of joe mccarthy. [laughter] i'm so r. a. won't to give you a blurb. >> they were even better friends.
the both of you, did he have qualms as a historian about keeping, but making so many choices in a contemporaneous way in his journals and newsletters and he's very tough on eisenhower. it's just the most dreadful day for him that you can possibly imagine. there has been a whole way no thinking about eisenhower presidency for example and jon and i were talking earlier. in fact he was behind-the-scenes playing a much more enlightened role than anyone knew at the time because he had been to war when stalin died about dealing with the leadership and it was a really daring enterprise. did arthur at any point say you know i might've had that piece a little bit wrong? >> what's interesting about my father even though he had deep skepticism about eisenhower he was fascinated by american presidents. he was in a store in so as a professional observer he could
put aside his prejudices or his ideological perceptions and see the person as in exercising power. one of the letters he writes to an unknown correspondent because my father answered letters not just from famous people but from the average citizen. >> graduate students. >> great should students and people who just had inquiries and he treated them by the way with the same amount of respect that he did his letters to stevenson or kennedy or any others. he says you know i do not believe that politics should interfere -- interfere with friendships and as a matter fact because he took that position he was able to maintain a relationship with l. buckley or first president bush. he was friends with h.w. bush. he had friendships with the family and he kept them going,
and he was friends with alan dulles the former head of the cia. he maintained relationships which crossed party lines but it was partly due to this historical fascination with people in power. >> other example of exactly this was he came to appreciate reagan's political skills and when president reagan died saying however much we may have disagreed he understood the nature of the presidential office and an important point i want to say that puts this in -- a consistent theme all the way through was the power of the presidency. we have seen it and we saw it in the entire book in the imperial presidency book but early on he had this view like wilson and like kennedy, like jackson that it should be the center of national action, that the president was the key figure in
the system and urges bill clinton urges al gore late in the 20th century in their acceptance speeches in there and not girls to layoff figures programs of action for presidential leadership and to follow them up with presidential education. his other subject frank and roosevelt -- in explaining things. what do you think he would make of president obama in the current health care moment? >> i will go first. >> lets let's talk about the first four years. he would say that he is saved -- of his presidential role that my father said makes a great president. he had use of power in the executive office and to get around this.
obviously it's a terrible republican congress but he's not the strong president that my father believed him. >> i'm idea for a little with that because i think when you look back at his first term he did pass this health care at which is having a tremendous impact on american society and one that presumably will work in the end and solve all the -- once we solve all the problems with the web site is what he will be remembered for. in the great tradition of the new deal, lyndon johnson with his programs and civil rights, it's something that he didn't have to pursue. he could have dismissed it as a lot of his advisers wanted him to and just focus on the whole job situation. he also pass a stimulus bill and he passed the dodd-frank bill on reforming the financial industry i mean i think the first term
>> there doesn't seem to be a clear idea where he wants to go or how he wants to get there. like the staff meeting before the campaign finished and said i want to go back to my agenda like immigration and it was a slight state of war because those are not the issues. but how do we prepare people whether obama is somebody we ought to look at a and waddled having very high bandwidth but never having done that before. >> that is an interesting point because the governor
of new york gives a sense of how you run a big organization. david eisenhower running the military but said you looked as senator kennedy. he had no background to run a big operation. obama comes in with very little preparation. as the ising golfed by this incredible storm of the economy, i think he has gotten is out of the worst recession since the great depression and that alone is quite an accomplishment. although his second term is stymied at best to present an agenda that will never come into being unless the democrats retake the house but at the very least to leave a legacy for future presidents to look back that
obama could not complete it there but we can. >> host: with the introduction printed in the biographies and edited for times books, he quotes henry adams saying the president is like the commander of the ship at sea of forced to steer it with a sense of mission. you have the president's beginning with polka. [laughter] so where would you put obama? >> i will seek refuge to say it is too early. [laughter] only time will tell but i think i have ben a
journalist 50 years during every moment i have been inside the gate to a lot during crisis in triumph and one overarching conclusion no one is prepared after they're sworn in today after they walked in there. i remember washington the country was divided that day. mitch mcconnell. somebody raised the question how will he know when he is president? somebody said he will know when the butler comes in tomorrow and says mr. president your coffee is ready somebody said when the secret service shows up to
its core you down i said he will know when he gets the intelligence report and the magnitude of the office and the responsibility he has to keep every american safe. i don't think anybody in a matter how long is prepared for that. if you look back to jfk in the early days with the bay of pigs. and they're still struggling of course, this documentary is that with his presidency is a stalwart for progress. what we don't know is how it will be because it is all that has been said to be to do with a dangerous situation and to have more self-confidence but by then he was beginning to sort people out.
but with the obama case we will look in their rearview mirror. for become a presidential power is fascinating and unfathomable because it is so situational. we don't know what will happen moment to moment. >> talked-about education in that arena and what do rethink the historical obligations is to try to educate the public on how politicians need time to be educated? we're not particularly patient not only jfk but st. paul first. [laughter] but we are not very patient
but yet writing about franklin and roosevelt when he ran for vice president before polio, 1920, fdr learned from eisenhower it was not the warmest of transitions but yet that wonderful picture of the two men walking toward the cabin after the bay of pigs when kennedy has called the old guy to say help me. he was learning. i draw a direct line. what did he do? so he had a 13 day meeting 1962. arthur understood with his own political experience to
be in that arena of the white house through the narrative that these things do take time. human beings. flesh and blood. >> the ad i would add to that coming from your father at that time about vietnam because they had the long reach. we will deal with this the next day but kennedy understood that isn't can i read one thing? the candor of his of vice but actually i interviewed him the day he made his announcement of his vice presidential pack al gore. this is arthur but this is
why he has such values. >> it is essential presidential didn't feel comfortable and at ease with himself what he is saying and doing. know about of p.r. polishing can make people different from what they are. i am not sure at the tips to humanize our core have always worked but would be careful of confessionals i will judge can you imagine an fdr speaking in public or private about the way pallia changed his life? he won their hearts talking about them. that was about as good device as al gore could have gotten at that time. that was the first time i had seen that. but that was the value of these letters. >> you could take that further. go to another letter were he discusses al gore source of
vice president. [laughter] he makes it clear he was very disappointed that this man was rather smug and pious and fundamentally not what a democratic president should be looking to. at the same time praising al gore for all the of the things he was doing but he had to be clearer down the line he would be an agreement. >> let's talk about are a k -- rfk because he changed the most he was on that trajectory that ended tragically in los angeles. the relationship began stirring a the mccarthy era
when he was the enforcer in the conservative but 1860's eight to release the rfk has the great hope to fill the spirits of the new deal in the better part of the great society. what was that journey like? >> i think the assassination of jack kennedy was such a profound experience for bobby kennedy that even as he had become quite liberal under the attorney general with his brother's administration faugh if -- it was almost as if fdr changed after polio it opened the sensitivity of poverty, the impoverished of
blacks, whites, if the panoply of civil-rights issues and made him an incredibly vulnerable. therefore he became an iconic figure someone to the trodden populous in a way that people saw he could bring together the establishment with that poverty-stricken part of the population that would work together. but i do think it was the assassination that would open him up. >> host: did your father ever talk to you about the conspiracy theories after the assassination? after reading this having been so deeply involved, he
refused to believe bobby kennedy had anything to do with taking out castro. of removing. and your dad was in "the new york times" as i remember at the end said he was wrong on that. >> he said operation mongoose was the attempt to get the q been the economy after the bay of pigs death it was not a program designed to kill castro. but in the end whether bobby probably did agree with him in the indian they went too far.
>> let's not forget before the assassination there was rapprochement and you could elaborate one part of the assassination of president kennedy is he would make an arrangement with castro. >> host: he had a lot of pressures on him at that point. >> talking about this and would like to read one comment about my father's relationship with bobby kennedy. in the event he thought he was closer to bobby kennedy. but to get close to him to understand but he said john
kennedy was a realist disguised as a romantic. robert kennedy was a romantic stubbornly described as a realist. bobby kennedy felt the problems he figured out in his mind. >> host: but don't you think bobby was more because of what he had been through with his brother's assassination? >> with the of 109 experience. >> but with vietnam, the civil-rights movement had taken hold. i remember watching bobby he was in california lot and i was on the trail with him but in my judgment nobody did as much as he did. at the end he could still be
that tough guy as the prosecutor as mccarthy would move did the people into orange county was the shot across the about. my guess is he would have got the nomination it he would have beat nixon. my favorite theory is my belief in the ufo theory. the unforeseen will occur. [laughter] given that there is alive spirit of shakespeare it would have been fascinating. >> host: i am trying a new technique. >> key is playing an referred. [laughter]
-- he is playing angry birds [laughter] >> i am on a tablet it is fine if your fingers up the right temperature. [laughter] >> one of the things we forget is to keep your mind sharp which kennedy we talk about with a new frontier, the camelot, this evening golden age of the democrat party that i think many look back on for getting the democratic party was deeply fractured. largely because people in
this region and in the south arthur began with the eleanor roosevelt adelaide's stevens more social justice more rapid action of civil-rights and the kennedy representative with a more realistic attempt from 1960. to talk about a missile gap. >> key was a true warrior. >> democrat will rogers has now shifted.
>> it is interesting even that period before kennedy got the nomination and, of my father with these letters he is urging kennedy he is very concerned he may not get the liberal vote he is a centrist in his politics and very concerned kennedy did not take a position on joe mccarthy he was in the hospital said he did not go but he never said anything publicly this. >> we will profile according to eleanor roosevelt. [laughter] he was also concerned he would not taken issue over birth control. he had to consider the catholic voters.
may be feeling he was not as liberal as he was supposed to be but once he got into office he was stymied by the southern democrats he could not get ahead in the legislation with his agenda and not frankly and tell lyndon johnson came in 1964 all issues of medicare a of the civil-rights act and the voting rights act finally came into being. i think kennedy tried as best he could but he was limited to what he could accomplish and it was disturbing for the liberals who did support him. >> you said he had his feet on the ground.
>> host: out my guess is a number of you were around looking at this audience. [laughter] that is a commentary how well you look but raise your hand if you were not there then. i was writing for "newsweek" he was my editor how old are you? i think he said he was 12. the a chad got mower. [laughter] but to do this documentary 25 that intersection between those who remember in witnessed in those who only have the economic images left. we brought in little people
-- some people so we could see their reaction what they needed to know and it was a lot. they knew she was glamorous and had a beautiful wife and the tragedy of the family but for them it was ancient history. it was a different time. >> looking back with the kennedy is ministration looking at the first world war it is extraordinary the number of decades to see how this becomes lost in the midst of the past. >> one wonderful arthur story is about american history that is related to a
different point that this schlesingers live of a townhouse in manhattan. one day they found out the town house behind them was on the market. a man from california had bought it. his name was richard nixon. [laughter] one morning he wakes up to look out the kitchen window and sees dixon in a business suit a hint he goes off for the day and he was having a book party that night the first person he sees when he returns is one of the guests alger hiss to which he sees the secondary of american history. [laughter] tom is going to find a particular letter. [laughter] >> yes. if i can.
[laughter] the. >> it is the duty of dan rather. [laughter] >> when you look dash liberalism right now under assault every possible way we're being very retro. >> i think the word is now becoming available with cats new york we can cab of be like this to mention the word liberal. [laughter] >> you said that but not what will show up on the block afterwards. [laughter] >> but fnn any particular
moment divergency? but the affordable care at the democratic president they are trying to do some p.r.. in the idea came from heritage. it is not a moment where the natural american anxieties which is as old as the republic does not feel those are reassured by the more center-left. i wonder what you fifth thing about this historically a of practically through the weapons of your father's work -- through the lens of your father's work. >> he was a great proponent of activist government.
the republicans come to what they have done to stymied is disproved the theory government can do anything bad they do it by blocking activists programs that might have worked if obama could get a majority. so they have established the mindset why rely on government? it doesn't work you reproving by blocking the programs. it and it does give people a sense that government is not on their side anymore. it is distanced, a confused confused, the health care act, one reason it isn't working besides the bad website is 25 states controlled by republicans the refuse two's set up the portals which would have
been work of what the state level instead of the federal level. so to show an activist government works is being blocked and therefore that feeds into the cynicism of america and government. >> host: a.m. forecloses that fdr spirit. getting back to your father where we have cycles of conservative and liberal thinking and the world has changed so profoundly in how people can respond to i just try to write about the fact we lhasa contemporary figure of the political process will stop giving but only respond which is very often
visceral of one ever comes to mind after the government shut down i could find examples of the other side but one member of the two parties said it costs the country $25 billion. they just make those numbers up. but i was not equipped to say but we are moving on. so that does have an effect in they try to decide what is in the best interest of the family and they have a hard time and i said i will
not believe what you read on the internet. [laughter] but what comes through in these letters not only was he a great historian but stickleback to right 5,000 words. but what comes through whether a dustup with bill buckley is the eagerness personal character of who he was and how he cared about people. because both said this was written the berber 22nd,
1963, the date of in the evening by he and yours jackie nothing could call the core of this day. he was an aspiring member of my generation the wide band to miss this country could look to with show. he lived with passion to have known him and worked with him is close to filling experience i have never had. . .